Recent Blog Articles

When thoughts become obsessions

January 01, 2006

How many germs are on that doorknob? What if the house burns down? A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder thinks about these things all the time.

We all have disturbing thoughts, but most of us quickly dismiss them or keep them in perspective. We use the restaurant restroom, wash our hands, and go back to enjoy dinner. We turn off the stove or space heater before leaving the house and then focus on our driving — not on the danger of a fire at home.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.